COVID-19: Unemployment applications on decline, hospitalizations increase for second straight day
BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
The state saw a 20 percent decrease in the number of new unemployment filings last week.
Last week 34,400 new applications were filed, down from 42,000 from the week before, Gov. Phil Murphy said at the state COVID-19 briefing Thursday, May 28.
Since the pandemic began in early March, 1.17 million New Jerseyans have sought to collect benefits, of which 911,000 applications have been filled as of Saturday. Another 345,000 were cleared this week and another 208,000 were removed from pending, Murphy said.
As of May 23, $4.3 billion has been paid to New Jerseyans in unemployment benefits.
Murphy advised applicants still waiting to be patient. He reiterated that the holdup could be due to problems with the certification process.
Today, May 28, New Jersey officials reported 1,261 new cases of COVID-19, up from the 970 reported yesterday and the 703 reported on Tuesday. New death numbers are down to 66 compared to the 148 deaths reported yesterday, but slightly up from the 54 deaths reported Tuesday. State totals are now at 157,815 positives and 11,401 deaths.
Officials said that the rise in raw totals could be attributed to an increase in individuals getting tested at the state’s 208 now-operative testing sites. The positivity rate based on tests conducted May 24 is down slightly at 6 percent.
Last night, hospitalizations continued to climb, up to 2,797, compared to 2,761 on Tuesday night. But fewer people were in intensive care (740) and fewer patients (564) were on ventilators compared to Monday night.
Last night, the number of people entering the hospital rose to 365 compared to 241 on Tuesday and Monday when 134 new patients entered the hospital. Hospitals discharges rose to 287 compared to the 164 patients on Tuesday.
Officials said they will be “digging” into the increase in hospitalizations to see if it is attributed to a lag in reporting or an increase in patients.
On Wednesday night, May 27, Montclair Health Department officials reported the confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in Montclair decreased from 416 to 414, to account for cases outside of the township. The number of individuals who did not survive the illness increased from 48 to 49.
Thursday morning, Essex County officials reported 81 new positive cases, up from the 28 reported on Wednesday. The total in Essex County is now at 17,516. Officials also reported 14 new deaths, the same number reported on Wednesday, bringing the Essex County total to 1,636.